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Thursday, April 24, 2014

‘Locke’ Brings Audiences Into The Car With Tom Hardy

In "Locke," Tom Hardy plays Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager who receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events. (Courtesy)

In “Locke,” Tom Hardy plays Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager who receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events. (Courtesy)

How do you turn a car ride into an exciting film? That was the challenge faced by director-writer Steven Knight and star Tom Hardy in making “Locke.”

Tom Hardy plays the title character, Ivan Locke, a construction manager whose life unravels as he drives from Birmingham to London.

Throughout the journey, phone calls reveal how Ivan has managed to put both his job and his marriage in jeopardy by making this car trip, but Hardy holds the screen solo for the entire film.

Tom Hardy and Steven Knight join Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to talk about “Locke” and the effect that technology has on our lives.

Interview Highlights: Tom Hardy and Steven Knight

Hardy on appearing solo for the entire film

Actor Tom Hardy and writer/director Steven Knight attend the after party for the A24 and The Cinema Society of 'Locke' at The Skylark on April 22, 2014 in New York City. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Actor Tom Hardy and writer/director Steven Knight are pictured on April 22, 2014, in New York City. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

“You’d have thought that I’d probably be really excited about the fact that I have a film all about me, but that wasn’t the head-space that I went into ‘Locke’ thinking. I went into the project just being really, really excited about being part of an ensemble piece. As opposed to being shot or filmed, I was surveyed. It was like a surveillance camera on my character, as opposed to being the lead of a movie who’s in isolation, the only person on screen.”

Hardy on the movie’s setting — inside a car

“It’s always nice to have something to do when you’re acting, to add another dimension just in a very rudimentary way. So if you were in an office, you’d have to be typing something or working on something. Basically, it makes sense to be going on a journey in a car, from A to B, I think, metaphorically speaking, is a sensible, contained space to have this drama. He’s on the road towards his future. There’s the constant motion that’s going on around him, which is the chaos of — and other lives that are continuing on about their business, whilst his is one way, and it’s all gone horribly wrong.”

 Knight on Ivan conversing with other characters via phone only

“We, all of us, now do this thing with telephones, which I find dramatically interesting, where when the cell phone rings or the answering phone rings, you look at who it is, and you change. You become the person who deals with that person. We have this sort of violent crunching of gears when you change from being the boss, to being the employee, to being the parent, to being the partner, and we all do a master class of acting every day when we’re using this device, when we’re sort of accessing all the different parts of our lives. And I think that Ivan is okay. He’s on fairly safe ground when he’s dealing with concrete, using this device, but one of the points of the film is although he can apply his reason and his rationality to certain difficulties, and they’re successful, when it comes to the core problem of the evening, the thing that makes his life unravel, it’s not adequate, and the rationality doesn’t prevail.”

Knight on the effect he hopes the movie will have on viewers

“I hope people leave the theater asking lots of questions, amongst them, you know, would it have been better if he’d told a lie? Would people be less damaged? Because the truth damages people all the way through this story. His boss even says, ‘Why didn’t you just say you were sick?’ And he said, ‘I’m not sick.’ It’s this, I call it, reckless integrity.”


  • Tom Hardy, British actor and star of “Locke.”
  • Steven Knight, British screenwriter and film director, who wrote and directed “Locke.”

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